James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

December 23


By Alethea S. Burroughs

  • Occupied by the Federals under Sherman, on Dec. 23, 1864.

  • THOU hast not drooped thy stately head,

    Thy woes a wondrous beauty shed!

    Not like a lamb to slaughter led,

    But with the lion’s monarch tread,

    Thou comest to thy battle bed.

    Savannah! O Savannah!

    Thine arm of flesh is girded strong;

    The blue veins swell beneath thy wrong;

    To thee the triple cords belong

    Of woe and death and shameless wrong,

    And spirit vaunted long, too long!

    Savannah! O Savannah!

    No blood-stains spot thy forehead fair;

    Only the martyrs’ blood is there;

    It gleams upon thy bosom bier

    It moves thy deep, deep soul to prayer,

    And tunes a dirge for thy sad ear,

    Savannah! O Savannah!

    Thy clean white hand is opened wide

    For weal or woe, thou Freedom Bride;

    The sword-sheath sparkles at thy side,

    Thy plighted troth, whate’er betide,

    Thou hast but Freedom for thy guide,

    Savannah! O Savannah!

    What though the heavy storm-cloud lowers

    Still at thy feet the old oak towers;

    Still fragrant are thy jessamine bowers,

    And things of beauty, love, and flowers

    Are smiling o’er this land of ours,

    My sunny home, Savannah!

    There is no film before thy sight,—

    Thou seest woe and death and night,

    And blood upon thy banner bright;

    But in thy full wrath’s kindled might

    What carest thou for woe or night?

    My rebel home, Savannah!

    Come—for the crown is on thy head!

    Thy woes a wondrous beauty shed;

    Not like a lamb to slaughter led,

    But with the lion’s monarch tread,

    Oh! come unto thy battle bed,

    Savannah! O Savannah!